Although we may see dental hygiene as routine, it actually is an essential factor in our overall health care. In fact, changes in dental health can be a key indicator of more serious problems within our bodies; therefore, it’s crucial that we do everything we can to take care of our teeth. To help you do just that, cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands shares five habits that harm teeth that we should avoid.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, nail biting can result in up to $4,000 in additional dental bills over a lifetime. Nail biting can wear down teeth, and puts a large amount of pressure on front teeth. It can also aggravate jaw muscles, leading to TMJ. In addition, if started at an early age, nail biting can also contribute to a gap in the front teeth.
The cold, hard truth is that ice chomping can potentially shock a nerve in a tooth, requiring root canal therapy. Also, biting ice at an unusual angle can potentially chip off part of the enamel, crack a filling or, worse still, crack a tooth.
Teeth as a Tool
Using teeth to bite off a tag or open a bottle can lead to many mishaps. Avoid using teeth to do anything other than chew food.
Stress can trigger jaw clenching or teeth grinding. Again, it puts teeth under undue pressure and can cause fractures in teeth. These microfractures can put teeth at risk for further damage and can damage dental work.
Brushing teeth too hard can wear down enamel, irritate your gums and cause sensitivity. Remember to brush in circular motions at the base of the gums, and opt for an electric toothbrush to do the work for you.